Just like any other creative fields, the world of design is always evolving with the passing of time. So even if you consider yourself to be an expert designer, there’s still so much to learn and focus on to stay ahead the competitions and meet your clients’ expectations.
To step up your design game a little bit, I would love to bring to you 7 important rules of user interface design that you better remember:
Related: Basic UX/UI Terms Everyone Should Know
Get to know your users
This is the most important thing to be considered first. If the designer can’t determine their target audience, they can not create an effective one.
Who are your users – inside and out? What do they need? What will stand in the way of them achieving their goals?
Don’t stop at knowing what your users want.
To do that, you are going to need to take some time to speak with your users face to face. Even better, watching them use your product, then asking how they think about it.
Think about how people use your interface
Tapping a button, swiping a card or dragging and dropping an item with a fingertip? What ways do you want your users to do? Let’s think about it first before you design your interface.
Once you defined who your users are and how they interact with your interface, it’s time to build some cool things.
Related: Best Free Icon Fonts That Web Designers Can Not Ignore
Clarity is job #1
People want convenience, not a challenge. Because of this, please do your users a favor: Make everything as clear and simple as possible to understand. Don’t make them guess.
When people use your interface, they must be able to recognize what it is, understand how to use it and know what will happen when they use it.
Some says that they want to design their interface more mysterious to make people curious. Yes, it’s totally okay, even great, but remember there is no room for confusion.
Design with multiple screen sizes in mind
There’s no one-size-fits-all design for every device in the market. When it comes to designing a website or an app, you need to make sure that you design with all screen sizes in mind. That’s because people nowadays spend a lot of their time on mobile devices from doing business, checking email, shopping or even playing game.
According to a study from Google “What User Want Most From Mobile Sites Today?”, when users visited a mobile-friendly site, 74% of them said that they were more likely to return to that site in the future and 67% of them were more likely to buy on that site’s products or services.
It’s incredible frustrating to try to zoom in and out, up and down, left and right on smaller device to read content. That’s obviously the last thing a customer wants when they are on the move and need to find out about your business.
Therefore, if your design is not accommodating this change, visitors will hit the “Back” button without regret.
Related: 6 Little Things That Can Make Or Break Your Website
Consistency always matters
Consistency makes your interface easier to use, because visitors don’t have to learn new tricks as they move around. When someone or something behaves consistently with our expectations we feel like we have a good relationship with it. The same can be said as a consistent interface. Elements that behave the same should look the same.
Don’t make things so complicated. Keep your creativity for higher order concerns.
If my words do not convince you enough, consider this: According to the Principle of Least Surprise which applies to user interface and software design: “If a necessary feature has a high astonishment factor, it may be necessary to redesign the feature.”
Design for the zero stage
The first time users experience with your interface is the most crucial moment. In order to help your users get to know your interface immediately, it is best to design for the zero state that means the state in which nothing has yet occurred.
This stage should provide users direction and guidance. Once people understand the rules, they will easily find a clear path that leads them to what they are looking for.
Keep users in control
People always want to be the one who decide what happens next when they use a interface. They feel more comfortable when they are in control of everything. If they are instantly bombarded with an unplanned interaction or confusing pathways without their consent, they tend to leave immediately.
Therefore, always keep users in control by describing clearly causation or telling them what to expect at every turn. Even though you think it states the obvious, oh dear at least you did state, you have nothing to lose but a chance to win.
Ready to rock?
Not all of these rules may be useful for your business, but it’s always beneficial to know what’s foundation to rely on in the industry.
As Picasso said: “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them as an artist.” So why don’t you get your hand dirty, make your own stunning interface by testing and experimenting, and then share it with me in the comment box. Who knows, you might make a new rule by yourself? 🙂